Most friendships from youth and childhood are relatively fleeing and circumstantial matters. Kids are kids and don’t necessarily form deep bonds. In my life I make 3 exceptions in that regard.
There is dear Karen, who lives in Nanoose Bay and whom I have known since first grade. We keep in touch – not neurotically – and phone and email sporadically, and I have visited her at her place and she has visited me here.
And there is John. My friend since we were about 12. The bastard moved to Australia in the early 1990s, which I resent the hell out of, but we do keep in touch and within a few weeks he and his wife will be coming to call. Haven’t seen them for a decade. Woo-hoo.
And finally there is Roy. We were great buddies in jr. Hig1h and for part of high school and then he moved to California with his family. But, it turned out not entirely bad in the early stages. In the summer of 1961 my parents took a road trip to CA to stay with an aunt and uncle. And as it turned out they lived less than a mile away from Roy and his family. So, I decamped and went and stayed with that crew.
We had a great time. He lived near San Jose and in the evening we would cruise the strip, looking at the cool cars and cool girls and it was just like the cruising the strip scenes from American Graffiti. Not such a strange thing since those scenes were filmed in San Jose in a tale that fictitiously took place just a year later. In other words AG was a few weeks of my youth. Even the drive-in, with the babes on roller skates was the one we went to. It was called ‘John’s’ and those scenes were authentic to the degree that there was actually a cop car positioned at the eatery.
We also went to the hot rod races, and I consumed my first taco (not commonplace in the frozen north at that time) and we mainly just hung out. And then I had to come back home.
Subsequently Roy and I lost touch. We desultorily corresponded for a while and then we basically didn’t, and we got on with our lives; got girlfriends; went to college and university.
Yet Roy always stuck in my mind. Later on, when the computer age dawned, I Googled his name a few times. And then with the arrival of Facebook I also scanned the names. To no avail. I wasn’t obsessed, but I knew I wanted to link up. Always did. Finally, via his brother who is on FB, I found him. We connected and the rest became history.
He and his wife came for a call yesterday and we found the bond was basically unbroken. Also found that he did not live so very far away.
What a lovely day it was with them.